Lip balm comes in all shapes and sizes these days and, as it turns out, the effectiveness of the formulas can be equally as varied. In fact, many lip balms include ingredients that can irritate and dry out your lips even more. Our attention was brought to this issue by the team at Reviews.com who recently took an in-depth look at 177 different lip balms to determine those that work well and those that may work against you.
The key: finding a balm with simple ingredients that include moisturisers, like beeswax, or barrier agents, like petrolatum, and little to nothing else. Quite a few balms didn’t make it past the first test which was to exclude anything with camphor, phenol or menthol – these ingredients give the cool tingling feeling that we often associate with minty or “repairing” lip balms. In fact, they can cause burning on broken skin and may also cause light sensitivity.
Next, those balms that included the most common allergens were pinpointed. Vitamin E, fragrance, dye and lanolin – all of which can cause reactions on sensitive skin. The rest of the lip balms were road tested – including in 100 degree summer heat.
Here are three of the very best brands:
BEST OVERALL: BADGER CLASSIC LIP BALM UNSCENTED
The simplest formula: just four organic ingredients, barely any scent, and effects that last all day. Its “just-applied” feeling lasted more than four hours in tests – as long as any of the balms that were tried out. It uses only four natural (and organic) ingredients, which means there are fewer things for the sensitive skin on and around your lips to have an allergic reaction to. We also liked that it’s about as neutral as it gets: there’s barely any scent or shine. Click here to buy.
JOHN MASTERS ORGANICS LIP CALM
If your skin isn’t particularly sensitive, this luxurious lip balm could be for you. You’ll pay twice as much as you would for Badger, but it has more of a spa feel: rich, wet, and delicately scented with citrus. Its 10 organic oils infused with beeswax also proved to be long-lasting — you won’t need to reapply again and again throughout the day — and it’s surprisingly not-too-glossy for how slick it is when putting it on. Click here to buy.
VASELINE LIP THERAPY ADVANCED HEALING
One of the very few balms that doesn’t contain beeswax. If you’re sensitive to propolis, this squeezable tube of pure, surgical-grade petroleum jelly (mixed with a little bit of neutral flavour) will create a slick seal over your lips to trap in moisture. Don’t care about the flavour or the squeeze tube? Dipping into a tub of Vaseline will give you the same results. Click here to buy.
To see the full Reviews.com article, click here